I wrote this little thought on the Monday after... the Monday after the US Air Force Marathon that is. I just figured out that I can actually say I ran a summer marathon... not by much, but it was still summer ;o) Anyway, as you can see in the subject line today I wanted to briefly touch on the subject of endurance. I want to do this for a couple of reasons. First and foremost because Saturday's marathon will likely mark my last and also because I want to use it as an analogy of enduring things in life.
Many of you recall one of the most famous verses in Isaiah
Isaiah 40:31 "But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint"
As I was running Saturday, I did a whole bunch of talking to God. Most of which came after my brief stay in the medical tent for cramping at Mile 18, but some before. Anyway, there was a stretch that all of the runners ran on one of the airstrips. Although it wasn't especially hot on Saturday, that airstrip felt like death valley with the sun beating down. If it wasn't for my constant repetition in my head of Isaiah 40:31 at that point of the race I might have quit. But, I didn't and I know why... because I had an angel or several angels running with me. Some were other runners, some were observers, and some were in the beat of the music from my Ipod, but nonetheless they didn't let me quit. I think that in many ways life kind of plays out that way. Just when you are exhausted beyond all belief and you want to give up you get a whisper in your ear that says you can and will do it. Maybe you don't think of verse above, but it is a good reminder that God is always with us. It may be in the smile of a stranger, the pat on the back from a coworker, or the nice gesture from a friend. Praise be to God for those angels in our lives... without them we would be lost.
In many ways we all have experienced the pain and pride of a marathon. Some literally and some metaphorically. Either way, be proud that you made it through the marathons that you have had to endure and be thankful that we have an awesome God that allows us as weak souls to have the discipline to weather the harshest storms. I certainly have some pride in the accomplishment of finishing my seventh marathon, but know I wouldn't have made it a mile if it wasn't for a deep rooted belief that God will not give me what I cannot endure. I type this today through much pain as my body heals itself and resets for the next race (much smaller from now on). And, my prayer for you is that the next time your mind and body tell you that you "can't"; simply smile and say I "can" if it is the Lord's will. God Bless you and thanks to those that offered support along my crazy adventure. I want to close with a really cool verse that was on one of the runner's shirts that I passed about mile 23 and it stuck with me:
Psalm 119:32 (The Message) I'll run the course you lay out for me if you'll just show me how.
Love In Christ,